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Conformity Preferences and Information Gathering Effort in Collective Decision Making

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  • Huihui Ding

Abstract

Our study concerns a collective decision-making model for the collection of information from two voters. Both voters, who tend to make the same voting choices because of their conformity preferences, collect information about the consequences of a project and then vote on the project. We focus on an informative equilibrium in which voters vote informatively using pure strategies. This is a symmetric Nash equilibrium. Our result is interesting as it shows that nonconformist voters exert less effort from a social perspective because of a positive externality that results in the free-rider problem, while conformity preferences can help to improve the sum of the votersâ expected payoffs from the social perspective. This is because conformity preferences may alleviate the free-rider problem associated with coordination (making the same vote). Specifically, conformity preferences give special importance to the correlation between votersâ signals, even if this correlation is unrelated to the accuracy of the signals. Furthermore, we present the exact conformity preference level which helps voters to exert an optimal effort level that maximizes the sum of the votersâ expected payoffs compared to the nonconformist case. In addition, we graphically illustrate comparative statics on effort levels in informative equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Huihui Ding, 2017. "Conformity Preferences and Information Gathering Effort in Collective Decision Making," 2017 Papers pdi498, Job Market Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2017:pdi498
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    Cited by:

    1. Cécile Aubert & Huihui Ding, 2022. "Voter conformism and inefficient policies," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 59(1), pages 207-249, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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